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3rd grade Texas shooting survivor hid from gunman in cafeteria: ‘Everybody was scared’

"We were all panicking," said 9-year-old Chance Aguirre of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
news4sanantonio.com
/ Source: TODAY

A third-grade student at Robb Elementary School in Texas recalled his distressing memories of hiding in the cafeteria before students were rescued by law enforcement. 

“Everybody was scared. We were all panicking because we didn’t know what was really happening,” student Chance Aguirre told NBC local news affiliate WOAI-TV San Antonio, Texas. 

Chance was in the lunchroom when students were told to hide.

“We were all hiding behind the stage in the cafeteria when it happened,” the 9-year-old told the station.

Chance said “thousands of police and border control” agents entered the lunchroom and ushered students to a home across the street for safety. 

Chance Aguirre, a third-grade student at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, hid from the gunman during the mass shooting.
Chance Aguirre, a third-grade student at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, hid from the gunman during the mass shooting. news4sanantonio.com

Chance’s mother Nikki Astling shared a photo with WOAI-TV illustrating her son hugging his sister Maura, a fifth-grader who attends a different school. 

"My heart just breaks for them, for everybody," Astling told the station about families of the 19 students and two teachers who were killed.

Related: How am I supposed to parent in a world like this?

"We’re such a small community that it really is — everybody knows everybody here."

She added, "There’s no words that can make this any better."

This week, victims' loved ones expressed sorrow in online dedications.

A woman named Adalynn whose mother Eva Mireles was a fourth-grade teacher at the Uvalde school shared little moments that were stolen from her family. 

Nikki Astling, the mother of Robb Elementary School student Chance Aguirre, expressed grief during an interview with NBC local news affiliate WOAI-TV.
Nikki Astling, the mother of Robb Elementary School student Chance Aguirre, expressed grief during an interview with NBC local news affiliate WOAI-TV.news4sanantonio.com

"I want to send you TikToks and say them over and over until dad gets tired of us," she tweeted. "I want to annoy you and wake you up from naps just so you can check on my chicken and make sure I didn’t undercook it. I want to sing karaoke with you and hear you sing 'Shine bright like a diamond' in your loudest voice."

Related: Former teacher writes heartbreaking post about how 'every teacher' fears a classroom shooting

Mireles’ cousin, Amber Ybarra also told TODAY that the teacher was "absolutely vivacious" and a great cook. In her school profile, Mireles praised her "supportive, fun, and loving family" and expressed love for her pets. 

While Christopher Salazar, whose 10-year-old nephew Jose Flores Jr. also died, wrote on Facebook, "I’m going to miss you soo much rest in paradise my beautiful angel."

As reported by NBC News, vigils to honor the deceased were held this week in Uvalde, Austin and San Antonio.